South Sudan expresses optimism over lifting of UN arms embargo, sanctions
South Sudan on Friday expressed optimism that the United Nations Security Council will lift an arms embargo and targeted sanctions on the country and some of its officials.
The government is working to meet the five benchmarks for lifting sanctions, an arms embargo, and sanctions against individuals, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Deng Dau Deng said.
He called for support from the African Union and other international bodies to support the lifting of the sanctions and the arms embargo.
In an address to members of the diplomatic community on the current security situation in the country in Juba, the capital, Dau called for an end to the arms embargo so that South Sudan could buy weapons that could be used to protect civilians and their properties.
He said the government is finding it very hard to protect civilians in the current situation as armed civilians have nearly the same amount of weapons the government has.
"If the civilians have the rifles like what the army has, then you can expect the results will not be the same," Dau said. "This is why it is important that the government must get a bit of a superior armament so that they can be used as a deterrent force to be able to stop these youths that are moving across."
The UN Security Council imposed the arms embargo on South Sudan in July 2018 in response to hostilities and peace agreement violations between the former rebels and the army.
Shortly after its independence from Sudan in 2011, South Sudan plunged into civil war.
Up to 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed since late 2013 while more than 1.5 million people have fled to neighboring countries, and many more are internally displaced.
The UN targeted sanctions on South Sudanese individuals have been in place since 2015.